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LANDesk Jumps into Virtual Desktops with AppSense Acquisition

LANDesk, a software provider long known for its patch management and endpoint security tools, this week said it has agreed to acquire AppSense for an undisclosed amount. AppSense gives LANDesk desktop virtualization management tools, filling an important hole in its portfolio.

AppSense also offers tools that gather all of the telemetry data from the endpoints they are managing and provide graphical presentations for systems managers. Building on its recent emphasis of offering added reporting and analysis capabilities, LANDesk intends to integrate the AppSense telemetry gathering tool with its own management software, according to LANDesk CEO Steve Daly. LANDesk is one of the older systems management tool providers in the industry, which was formed by Intel in the early 1990s (actually its history extends back to 1985 when it was known as LANSystems) and later spun off. The company has since had multiple owners. Recently LANDesk has faced stiff competition from enterprise mobility management and systems management providers and the company has responded by making a number of acquisitions in the past few years.

Among those that have helped LANDesk compete in mobile device management were the acquisitions of LetMobile in 2014 and Wavelink in 2012. Over the past few years LANDesk has also extended its patch management portfolio with the acquisition of Shavik from VMware in 2013, and other companies LANDesk purchased include Naurtech and asset management supplier Managed Planet.

Daly said in an interview that LANDesk has historically focused on providing an operational approach to endpoint protection and acknowledged the company has had success in areas such as patch and device management, which includes controlling encryption. "As we've been going through our strategic planning process, we recognize one of the areas that's becoming operationalized really quickly is the idea of application control, and we're seeing a lot of our customers moving in the direction," Daly said.

Enterprise Strategy Group Analyst Mark Bowker said he likes the acquisition but warned that LANDesk "is entering some bumpy IT territory." Moving forward, Bowker added LANDesk "will need to leverage its market tenure and experience to exude confidence with senior IT and business executives if they want to break further into mobility strategies that include managing applications, data, devices and users.

Bowker also said LANDesk should step up its focus on providing security, not just operational management. "ESG research shows that security of endpoints and threat detection are the top two challenges when it comes to managing applications and end point devices," Bowker noted.

Daly said LANDesk plans to continue to acquire companies that can fill out its emphasis on application and user management.

Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 03/16/2016 at 2:01 PM


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